🌊 Maine Scallop Crudo 🌊
Maine Dulse Seaweed, Kumquat, Radish, Jalapeño, Lemon Ponzu, Cilantro
Maine’s long coastline and clean, cold waters inspired this dish featuring raw, buttery, day-boat Sea Scallops with their slightly sweet flavors; and Dulse (Palmaria palmata) a beautiful red seaweed that has a rich, meaty, umami flavor.
Crunchy peppery radish balance the tender scallop slices, jalapeños add vegetal spiciness, and seasonal kumquats add sweet tart notes. Lemon ponzu provides a base of sweet, sour, and salty flavors, where the olive oil adds a subtle richness.
When they’re raw, dulse flakes taste like briny ocean waters, but when sautéed, the smoky and savory characteristics emerge, giving dulse the nickname “bacon of the sea,” which pairs perfectly with this coastal crudo.
Lastly, a little mound of cilantro leaves brings the bright herbal notes, a sashimi style learned from Chef Nobu.
Maine Scallop Crudo Recipe
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Scallop Sushi ~ Gunkan Maki Style
Tender and buttery, day-boat sea scallops from Maine are simply delightful with their slightly sweet flavors, and slightly briny hints of the sea. They are harvested by fishermen that go to work in the icy waters then return to port that same day.
Since the fishing trip is short, day-boat scallops do not need to sit on melting ice like longer expeditions, and therefore do not absorb water over the course of the trip. The taste is pure and natural, as the scallops are not bloated with water after harvest. These scallops are treated with the utmost care, and never soaked in a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate which is commercially used as a preservative but unfortunately degrades the quality of the scallop.
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Gunkan maki was invented in 1941 by Hisaji Imada, the chef/owner of restaurant Kyubey in Tokyo. His new-fangled presentation allowed for the sushi service of soft/loose toppings, such as sea urchin and fish roes. These toppings could not be served in the traditional nigiri style, which consists of a solid slice of raw fish atop an oblong rice ball.
The shape of the newly-developed sushi resembled that of a battleship, hence the name. Gunkan is battleship in Japanese, Maki means roll. Sushi rice is hand-formed into a cuboid, rolled/wrapped with nori, then a soft/loose filling is spooned into the interior.
Here our battleship is filled with diced raw day-boat scallop lightly tossed with Japanese mayonnaise and sea salt. Aromatic shiso adds complex herbal notes where a bit of pungent wasabi flavors the seasoned rice. To quote one of my favorite chefs on a famous seafood dish, “It was a morsel of perfection.”
Scallop Sushi Recipe
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Pan-Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops in a Korean Seaweed Soup
Traditionally this satisfying soup is savored by Korean mothers who have just given birth as a restorative meal, to replenish vitamins and nutrients. Consequently, it is also enjoyed on one’s birthday, as a way to commemorate that special day. Here, the addition of some gorgeous huge Atlantic Sea Scallops definitely adds to the celebration!
This soup, miyeok guk or miyuk guk, is simple but super-flavorful and the scallops add a luxurious component. It’s made with seaweed known as miyeok in Korean/wakame in Japanese, lots of garlic and ground pork in an ocean-y broth. It is garnished with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a sprinkling of crunchy sesame seeds, while a restrained amount of Korean red chile flakes called gochugaru adds a lively quality. The scallops are seasoned with Kosher salt and seared in a hot pan with just a bit of canola oil to let their natural flavor shine.
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Fresh Chrysanthemum Greens, Roasted Chestnut
Semi-Dried Hachiya Persimmon, Fresh Fuyu Persimmon Wedges
Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette
Pomegranate Arils, Toasted Pine Nuts, Roasted Laver
Inspiration from two separate dining experiences sparked the idea for creation of this delightful salad. First, an outstanding meal at Jun Won in LA, a gem of a restaurant that features regional Korean cooking from the province of Chungcheongnam-do. I was captivated by their salad of chrysanthemum greens (sukgat) with chestnut jelly. A week later we attended an event highlighting the “Tastes of the Korean Forest” including sanchae (wild vegetables grown in the mountains), oak mushroom, chestnut, and persimmon.
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Fresh Wild Kenai River Sockeye Salmon
Roasted with Creme Fraiche
Over Emerald Seaweed Salad
Topped with Coral Ikura
Seaweed Salad: Mix bright green seaweed with a small amount of toasted sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. To get the skin extra crispy, I put the salmon skin-side down over a sizzling hot teaspoon of olive oil in a ovenproof sauté pan and sear on the stove top over high heat for a few minutes.
Then top the salmon with crème fraîche
and finish by roasting in a 400° oven. Serve over the seaweed salad, top with ikura (salmon roe). The terrific idea for roasting salmon with crème fraîche is not mine. I read Molly Wizenberg’s story of her father’s Alaskan fishing trips in Bon Appétit,
and being a big fan of this French cultured cream, I thought I would try her method. The charming story can be found here.
Bejeweled Salmon: Coral & Emerald
Alaskan salmon, prepared French/Japanese fusion style, has bright clean flavors, a variety of interesting textures, and is a visual stunner!